Q: One person’s enhancement might be another person’s bug – how do you control that with open source?
- Joe – the release process depends on who gets to commit final changes to the code base – the community needs to figure this out over time – not every enhancement necessarily has to be released to the common code base
- Josh – depends on the project – in the Koha community the community votes on a release manager and that manager gets to decide what’s included in the release
Q: Can you give us an example of what you mean by peer review process?
- Joe – VuFind is a great example – the community is not large get – peer review is dependent on what works well among experts – academic versus non-academic is not an issue as it is in journal peer review
- Josh – two types of peer review – one from the user perspective and the other from the developer’s perspective
- Bob – it’s not a formal process like journals – it happens in the community by peers – but not an editorial board
Originally uploaded by nengard
Q: Can you explain more what kinds of staff changes need to be made to support open source?
- Joe – staffing changes may be at the expense of some librarian positions – but it’s a necessity – it becomes the smart thing if you’re invested in your infrastructure – need to have a technological staff in house that can handle these new systems
- Josh – you have to have technologists involved – they don’t have to be in the library – but they have to be involved – no vendor lock in means you can start with a company and move on to supporting it yourself if you so choose
- Bob – library schools teach IT separate from the library people – you need to teach it both at the same time – there is no reason to have either or (like me) – there is no a critical mass of librarians with these skills because library schools are not turning them out – and this failure has occurred during the golden age of libraries – the patrons are beating their path to our door – but we don’t have the skills – it’s a shame that Josh had to to what he had to do in creating a company to ease his frustrations
Q: People are talking about the ILS going away, why are we developing something new if that’s the case?
- Josh – circulation is not going away – acquisitions is not going away (whether it’s print or electronic materials – they have to be acquired in some way) – cataloging is not going away – these are core functions of the library – the only difference is that with the open-source ILS the community drives the innovation – the community decides what they need and the products are developed to meet those needs – this means we have a more timely product
- Bob (great analogy) – one author writes an article about a problem and then another librarian comes around reads it and sees something the first author missed and writes another article – and the original writers says “thank god – you figured it out” – it’s the many eyes theory (me: this is like my developing at Jenkins – i always had many eyes) – the open source ILS is a more valuable ILS because of this